After 50 years of dumping plastics in the ocean, our seas are returning deadly microplastic particles to our beaches all over the world. This short film, "Filtering a Plastic Ocean," explores the impact these tiny plastics, laced with toxic chemicals, have on marine wildlife and human health, and profiles ocean activist Marc Ward, whose simple invention is making beaches safer for people around the world.


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  • Jeanne Clarkson

    what inspired me was the simplicity of the solution. Main question i what do you do with the collected pieces of plastic. Also noted that plastic was carried away in even more plastic

  • Roseanna

    What inspired me to watch this video is my love of the ocean and all it's family. Thank you for your efforts - what a perfect practice - abet a tedious one - to filter humankinds trash from the ocean/coast.

  • Gloria Wright

    Great Video, brief but powerful. Horrible to see how sea life and other animals are ingesting these, resulting in their death, illustrated in photos sends the message home. Powerful message that cannot be denied, that not just our wildlife, but we humans as well are ingesting the microparticles that are likely causing many of the cancers, rare disorders, and are likely impacting many of our bodily systems. This is a powerful call to action. Thank you for this awesome video.

  • Delano Erwin

    Great something is being done, but seems like trying to empty ocean with a thimble. Plus, there’s so much on the bottom of the ocean now. What about that?And how can you safely dispose of what you collect? We must somehow get to the roots of the problems—stop plastic production from oil and gas and stop using it. Otherwise, we can never win this war.

  • Ibarra

    It's a perfect way to contribute to the marine ecosystem conservation! I deeply believe that this kind of videos needs a massive difussion, because human people need to be aware of what them do.

  • Tracy

    This is awesome. I find picking up trash at beach clean ups quite relaxing. This makes it all the more efficient. I think I read somewhere that plastic waste can be turned into fuel... Wouldn't it be great if STF could hook up with the scientist doing that work...

  • Kathy

    As someone who loves the ocean I want to thank all those that work so hard and found a solution to help the clean-up. Now we all need to help by not using and boycotting the use of so many plastic products. We all have to start doing our share to help in protecting our Mother Earth, as she is suffering from the human imprint. Again thanks to so many who work to help.

  • Rev. Jackie

    I am so delighted to hear that there is a simply solution to this major problem that humanity has caused. Blessings to Marc Ward for creating this solution.

  • MarcWard

    Thank-you for all the kind comments. This is not recyclable plastic we are removing from the marine system, it is highly contaminated with PCBs and other Persistent Organic Pollutants. This material has got to either be incinerated or taken to a non-recyclable solid waste land fill. The State has specified that it goes to a particular land-fill and so that is where we send it. The bags are all we have to transport, they have to be strong -- if one breaks open it is a nightmare of a mess. There is no perfect solution, but this is a vital part of what solutions we have to work with and a revolutionary system that removes even micron size particles that you cannot see with the naked eye. THIS WORKS -- and yse I love the person who mentioned that we have to create human participation in this issue, we do that. Anyone 10-80 years old can learn to do this and yes -- this needs to be done on EVERY beach on earth. This gives us HOPE, and JOY that there is something that EVERYONE can do about the problem and at a very low cost. Peace, Passion, Progress -- Marc Ward

  • Fern

    Mother Earth is suffering...the healing Oceans are our collective womb, and we ought to not only filter our local beaches (all the world's beaches) but also direct as much as love and compassion to those who are taking action, and those who are in the baby steps of learning about these problems.

  • Patjos

    So very glad to see initiatives like this one beginning to surface and gain momentum. It is a big problem, but not an insurmountable one if we work together at it. Get involved in a local beach clean near you, even removing the larger pieces of plastic will keep them from breaking down any further on the beach and will prevent them from re-entering the Ocean. While it’s not ideal that these plastics should end up in landfill, at least it is a partial solution, which is perhaps all that can be hoped for, at present. Where there is enough desire, we will find solutions and that desire grows day by day. Peace, Love and Light to all.

  • Karin Edla

    I was surprised to see them dumping what they collected into plastic bags! Where do you take this? I would encourage you to look into a better transport container and it would have been nice to follow this story full circle and see how you dispose of the debris. Thanks for your invention and your work to clean up our oceans. We need to address packaging for all things.

  • Robin

    awesome! we need to stop the massive production of plastics! we're all being poisoned!

  • Ann

    I love the ocean. And I am horrified to be a part of the destruction of the ocean and ocean creatures.

  • Rachael

    The idea is beautiful. However, I noticed that they are collecting plastics from the ocean and putting them into plastic trash bags (even double bagging them in plastic trash bags). Where do you take that plastic to dispose of it? Does it end up in a landfill? And what happens to the thousands of plastic bags you are using for this project? Most plastic trash bags, even if they are recycled, end up in a landfill due to the limits of our sorting facilities. It seems like you could unintentionally exacerbate the very problem you are trying to fix.

  • Steve

    Very beautiful. I hope Marc is right about high-density areas, where the clean-up has a disproportionate impact on removing plastic from beaches and ocean. What can we do to reduce the supply of plastic water bottles entering the ocean? Legislate a bottle deposit law, $1 per container. And don't drink liquid from a plastic bottle. Ever.

  • satyagrahi

    Let's transform our society so human labor is valued more than machine labor. Give incentives we give for AI and robotics to simple groups and activities that thrive on human effort.

  • Harilal Patel

    I am environmentalist and now i feel i am not doing enough The filtering sand is good but we must emphasize on curtail of use of plastic. Bring back glass and metal containers and reuse them.

  • Karen

    This is HOPEFUL!!!! Thank-you!!!!!!

  • Margie

    This is a fabulous idea! I am wondering though, what happens to that big black bag of plastic pieces? Is it safely recycled somehow?

  • Mia Kempff

    Wow for the determination! I love to think about, that someone is attaquing this huge problem with a showel, and doing so - it spreads and has effect!

  • Page 1

  • ​Learn more about the problem of plastic in our oceans.
  • Be inspired by this first grade teacher whose students learned to love the ocean.
  • Find a new way to dispose of plastics, as Marc Ward did. Carry a cloth bag for your shopping and return plastic bags to supermarkets.

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